Category Archives: Campus Life

Come Watch the TEDx Student Speaker Competition

Come be a part of the awesomeness!

Be a part of the awesomeness!

Like TEDx? Want to hear some fantastic ideas? Interested in hearing what other Middkids have to say? Enjoy Grille food?

If you answered yes to any of those questions (which you know you totally did), come out to the annual TEDxMiddlebury Student Speaker Competition! Support your friends and other fellow Middkids, listen to some fantastic ideas and eat FREE cookies and brownies!

Date: September 30th, 2014
Time: 7 pm
Place: Crossroads Cafe, McCollough
Cost: Free

Café con Leche

Jah Red's fans tearin up the d floor

Jah Red’s fans tearin up the d floor

If you love Latin dance, culture, or music, we’ve got some good news: This Saturday, September 28, Crossroads Cafe is featuring Burlington’s DJ Jah Red who will be heating up the dance floor for a night of Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia, and Reggaeton! Come enjoy a fun night with your friends and eat some delicious, free (that’s right, FREE) snacks.

Date: Saturday, September 27
Time: 10:00pm-2:00am
Place: Crossroads Cafe
Cost: Nada

First Years Take Over 51 Main


Do you currently identify as a freshman? Do you enjoy good music, mingling, and/or desserts?

If you answered yes to the above, make sure to head down to 51 Main tomorrow evening for some free fun provided by the First-Year Committee. Don’t miss this chance to meet new people and hang out in a super-cool space. There will live music by campus band The Broats, as well as free desserts! Seriously guys, never turn down free desserts.

Date: Saturday, 9/27
Time: 8:30-10 pm
Place: 51 Main

You Can’t Be Outraged at Your Own Convenience: A Critical Look at the Consequences of Apathy

Businessman Searching in Empty Conference Room

It’s Thursday, September 25th at Middlebury College, and everyone’s p*ssed about the new tailgating policy. We certainly made some (read: virtual) noise: Middbeat’s former post, “Just When You Thought Social Life Surveillance Couldn’t Get Any Higher: Alcohol Now Banned at Middlebury Tailgates” generated 95 substantial replies. As of 9 pm on September 24th, the We the Middkids petition entitled “Reverse Changes to the New Tailgating Policy” received 2,508 votes. As the Middbeat article “Fight For Our Right (to party). Then Fight for Our Other Rights too” would suggest, perhaps the Middlebury community could be equally engaged when it comes to other issues facing the college (rising tuition rates, divesting from fossil fuels, et al). But needless to say, a policy concerning alcohol (or a pointed lack thereof) got our collective attention.

We complained, we petitioned, we wrote. We had angry conversations over paninis in Proctor and we sighed as the Middlebury Panthers lost to Wesleyan on Saturday. We voted, using the appropriate platforms provided by the SGA. We spoke up.

And then we dropped the ball. The SGA gave our intangible anger a tangible forum, provided the Middlebury community with the opportunity to speak directly with Erin Quinn (Director of Athletics) and Katy Smith Abbott (Dean of Students) to demand an explanation for this infantilizing and poorly-conceived new policy. The We the Middkids petition would indicate that at least 836 students voted against the tailgating policy (and, by extension, against a lack of meaningful communication between students and the administration). But how many students showed up to the Senate meeting? Not many. 

One of Erin Quinn’s arguments, as indicated by Middbeat’s Live Feed, suggested that he did not believe the changes to the tailgating policy affected many students. When precious few students show up to a forum designed to discuss that very policy, students unwittingly substantiate his claim. Our apathy gives him permission to be right, permission to cast us aside, permission to treat us like the disobedient children the new tailgating policy would suggest that we are.

The meeting was a success on the part of the SGA. Their resolution passed, indicating that Katy Smith Abbott is willing to discuss future policy changes with SGA President Taylor Custer ‘15 and Student Co-Chair of Community Council Ben Bogin ‘15. But where were we to support them, to validate the claims of students we elected to fight on our behalf? Speaker Michael Brady ‘17.5 remarks, “I was definitely hoping there would be more people there. I tried to make an effort by emailing [constituents], and about a 60% majority wanted the new policy appealed.” However, this display of initial enthusiasm did not eventually correlate with physical attendance at the Senate meeting. Brady describes the turnout as “definitely disappointing. We didn’t have the numbers show up that we would have liked. I don’t think there’s going to be substantial change if kids don’t back up the outcry.”

It’s true that our schedules are busy, and that most of us are bound to the Sunday night homework grind. We elect SGA members to have these very sorts of policy conversations on our behalf – can’t we just step back and let them do what they do best? Tempting, but the answer is no.

“I would have loved to stand up against this policy through civil disobedience,” says Brady. “However, due to my position in the SGA, I can’t take that particular avenue. In order to maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the administration, it was more productive and appropriate for me to write and discuss legislation than to picket outside an administrator’s office. It’s within everyone’s best interests if the SGA maintains an amicable relationship with the administration – [that relationship] cannot be ruptured to a point where the SGA is longer functional.”

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Ross Commons Sex Ed Workshop & Sundaes

imagesSex and sundaes, perhaps there’s no better combination. In case you missed out on this awkward 9th grade physical education class, or need a quick refresher, now’s the time to polish the knowledge. Elizabeth Lee writes in to explain today’s event, “Sex Ed Workshop and Sundaes”:

Ross Commons Council is hosting a Sex Ed workshop with our lovely
Barbara McCall on Thursday Sept. 25, 7pm at the Milliken 3 Lounge (in
Ross). All gender/sexual orientation inclusive. Free sundaes for
dessert and glow in the dark condoms.

Glow in the dark condoms(!!) But really it’s important stuff to know.

Date: Today, September 25
Time: 7pm
Place: Milliken 3 Lounge (third floor of the sophomore side of Ross)

YouPower Opens!

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 10.35.20 PM

Tired of walking to the gym? Starting to feel like you’re going to elliptical yourself insane? Looking for a better, sweatier version of the Atwater party last weekend? Check out the YouPower spin room! The YouPower spin room officially opened Monday with a full class schedule and full classes. For those of you new to Midd’s frenzied fitness culture, the YouPower spin club offers student-lead, drop-in cycling classes for all levels, 7 days a week. Class offerings vary by instructor, so be sure to check out a few different classes for the full YouPower experience. New this semester is Sunday’s Yoga/Spin class, where veteran spin instructor Sarah Fossett ’17 and Midd’s favorite yoga teacher Sayre Weir ’15 have combined forces to offer a full mind and body workout. No idea what that means? This combination class offers 45 minutes of spinning followed by 30 minutes of flow. Whether you’re trying to get rid of the hangover or get a jumpstart on Monday, this class is worth your time. Caveat: this is YouPower’s one sign-up only class. Sign-ups open each Friday at 9 am and close at 7 pm, and riders will be offered spots using a lottery draw system. 

The YouPower studio is located on the Bi-Hall side of the FIC. Once you pass the main entrance to the FIC, take a right on the grass and follow the exterior of the building until you reach the cement step. Bring a water bottle and clean shoes and get ready to get sweaty!

Otter Nonsense Auditions! (Improv Group)


Conor Grant ’15

This Thursday and Friday the Otters will be having auditions from 4:30-6:00 in Forest East Lounge. Now If you just read that and thought “I can’t audition I’ve never done improv before,” or “I’m not funny enough,” come audition anyway! Many Otters, current and former, had never done improv before the first audition.

Date: Thursday and Friday
Time: 4:30-6
Place: Forest East Lounge (by Registrar)

Hidden Gym: Middlebury’s Rock Wall


Sasha Digiulian in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge, on Pure Imagination (5.14d)

With the beginning of a new year on this idilic college campus, we returning students have found ourselves blessed with a half a thousand or so new students to populate our school. All the new faces, in fact, bring me back to the early days of his own Middlebury career, and conjure up old memories and impressions…

Stumbling through the first couple of weeks on campus I remember seeing great imposing green mountains, plenty of marble buildings, fluttering flannels, Patagonia clothing at every corner like a plague, and many, many athletic-looking people.

While there are plenty of other things that make us Middlebury students unique, the athletic stereotype is something that has stuck out to me even before he was a student here, and still does. While there are all types of body types, levels of athleticism, and different styles of people on this campus, as a student who never played organized sports, the abundance of fit-looking people on this campus was a bit of a surprise, as I’m sure it is for most people who have spent some time at Middlebury. Where on earth did all these people come from that made them so damn athletic? The Olympics? Sweden?

While 27% of the student body are varsity athletes, this statistic doesn’t seem to give a full explanation. A simpler way to explore this phenomenon would be to head down to the Nelson arena at 2 pm on any given day and observe the literal fuck-ton of students either on their way to, in the middle of, or just finishing up exercising. Shocking as it may be, the easiest answer to this question of why so many people look so damn fit is that so many damn people work out. A lot. Before class, after class, late at night, between homework and labs, before meals, after meals — anyone who has spent any time near the athletic center has most likely been witness to the constant ant-like stream of students that plow in and out of that sweaty smelling corner of campus.

However, for the rest of us, those who don’t take any pleasure in sprinting many miles on an obnoxiously humming treadmill, or pushing metal weights over our chests (though there’s a place and time for every exercise), it’s easy to feel a little left out. So, it is for the sake of all the students at Midd who are not natural born Greek Gods and were never close to being varsity athletes or long distance running junkies, that I’d like to provide an alternative the traditional, and fanatic, Middlebury fitness world. It’s called Rock Climbing.

Whether you’re new here or have just never heard of it, I am writing to let you know that Middlebury does indeed have a rock wall, and that you should all definitely at least come to check it out. Read more about this awesome place beyond the jump…


The Middlebury Rock Wall in all its resplendence.

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Middlebury’s First Running Club!


Do you love to run but get tired of running the same trails alone? Want to meet more recreational Midd runners, and explore new trails? This year Middlebury’s first running group is tearing up the TAM! The group meets Tuesdays and Thursdays on the track at 4:30 pm. Tuesdays are long runs and Thursdays are a variety of track workouts. Check it out no matter what your fitness level is! The mission of the club is to connect runners around Middlebury and give runners the opportunity to switch up their routines with some fun workouts! If you are interested in joining you can email or come out on Tuesday or Thursday!

Liebowitz Weighs in on Dry Tailgating Policy


Pictured: Not Middlebury

If you receive four thousand college emails a day and aggressively delete them like I do, you may have missed the seemingly inconspicuous email from the Office of the President that went out to Middlebury students, faculty, and staff today. This email, co-authored by President Liebowitz, Dean Collado, and A.D. Quinn, aimed to provide context for the policy change, citing the “desire to create a safe, responsible, and welcoming” atmosphere, the priority of “health and safety of the students,” and encouraging “responsible, high standards of behavior” which we seem to have fallen short of. While it was nice to finally hear from Liebs, a voice who has been absent thus far from the discussion, the email missed some major points – and Liebowitz’s position was surprising considering his past attacks on the federal drinking age.

Many of you may not remember – or be aware – that in 2008 President Liebowitz supported former president John McCardell’s “Amethyst Initiative,” a movement calling for the reconsideration of the drinking age being set at 21. He and 134 other college presidents signed a statement suggesting the current drinking age led to a culture of dangerous binge drinking, and that encouraging abstinence from drinking does not result in positie behavioral change from students (read the entire text of the Amethyst Initiative statement here). Ron was even quoted in a New York Times article affirming his concerns about the dangers posed by such a restricting drinking age on college campuses. “Before the age was increased, we had a very different environment. You had kids drinking beer and getting sick on beer, but you didn’t have gross alcohol poisoning and binge drinking,” he claimed. Nobody doubts that he’s serious when he says he wants to keep us safe, but considering his past statements linking restrictive drinking policy to increased binge drinking and alcohol poisoning it’s surprising he would try to achieve this by creating an even more restrictive environment – even for students of legal drinking age – than already exists at Middlebury. Tailgates are certainly used as a party space, and often get out of control – but has it occurred to those in charge that this is a symptom of the current restrictive environment? As one of the ONLY functions/spaces where students are able to gather, socialize, and drink, it’s no surprise that tailgates are used as an outlet for repressed social behaviors that have few other avenues to express themselves. Obviously, the behavior at tailgates isn’t stellar; but if you treat young adults like children, don’t be surprised when they act like it. The new dry tailgating policy doesn’t address the source of the problem, only one of its many manifestations – and in doing so, it’s potentially making the problem even worse by further limiting the spaces where drinking culture can exist in the open and develop responsibly.

Middbeat wants to know: what are your thoughts on the relationship between a restrictive environment and irresponsible alcohol consumption? what if any spaces and events on campus give students the opportunity to drink casually rather than with the intent to get drunk? reply in the comments!